It’s a scene straight out of a “Fast & Furious” movie: about a week ago, a band of thieves stole $ 590,000 worth of iPhones from a moving delivery truck in the Netherlands.
The five Romanian men, aged 33 to 43, pulled off the late-night heist by driving a modified van up to the back bumper of a delivery truck. The thieves drove the van so close to the target vehicle they could climb out of a hole cut into the van’s roof, clamber across the hood, and break into the truck while it was still driving down the road. The gang could then pass the stolen iPhones back to the van through the same hole, according to the Associated Press.
Dutch police arrested the band of thieves Saturday at a park in the central Netherlands. Police also confiscated the heist van and recovered at least some of the stolen iPhones. And it’s possibly not the first time the thieves have attempted such a maneuver — local authorities believe the gang could be responsible for up to 17 similar highway heists. And, interestingly enough, they were found near what could have been their next possible mark: a large collection of Van Gogh paintings, Gizmodo points out. The five men are reportedly due to appear in court on Tuesday.
According to Dutch police, the maneuver the thieves pulled off is known as the “Romanian method.” And although Hollywood-worthy, the tactic is apparently not new. The night vision video below — shot by a police helicopter in total darkness and released by Romania’s Department for Organized Crime and Terrorism shows off a similar heist that took place in 2012.
Though the Dutch heist is obviously notable because of its action movie theatrics, iPhones are no strangers to being stolen. Apple’s premium flagships and other products are often the target of organized heists, particularly from brick-and-mortar Apple outlets. In April, a band of thieves allegedly stole $ 24,000 worth of Apple products from a retail store in Corte Madera, California. Last year, another group pulled off a similar heist in Massachusetts. And in February of this year, a gang stole $ 24,000 worth of iPhones from a Madrid Apple Store by chewing through the security tethers holding them in place.
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